My apple sauce recipe is neither easy nor Barbie-inspired, but it IS full of booze and butter, and that makes it worth a mention, right? It also provides a nice counterpoint to Barbie’s stovetop and Donna’s pressure cooker in that it is baked in the oven.
It comes from Volume 11 of the Short Stack series of zine style cookbooks. Each book in the series is about fifty pages long, devoted to a different single ingredient, and bound in textured paper printed with original artwork. (They are gorgeous, and I am obsessed with them. I display mine facing out, as if I lived in a store and needed to merchandise my home.) Volume 11: Apples by Andrea Albin is one of my favorites in the collection, and probably the one I reference most often for actual cooking (Chicken apple meatballs with aggrodolce? Pork chops with apple-beet-horseradish compote? Yes, please.)
Albin’s applesauce is made with apple brandy and butter. I halve her recommended amount of apples … but not the brandy. So my apple sauce is pretty boozy and plenty buttery too. If you’d like to do a more sedate version, use 5 lb of apples, a half cup of sugar, and 4 tbsp butter.
Brandied Apple Sauce
- 2.5 lb apples (They’re not fancy, but Granny Smith is my go-to apple for cooking. Sturdy and not too sweet.)
- 3/4 cup apple brandy
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Peel and slice the apples. (Like Donna, my life with apples got a lot easier when I bought a device to peel and core them for me. I have a basic hand-turned model, and it works nicely.)
Toss all ingredients but the vanilla together in a large bowl. Transfer to a glass baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake until apples are very tender, well over an hour. Add the vanilla and mash to desired consistency with a potato masher.
-Adapted from Short Stack Vol. 11: Apples by Andrea Albin
This is sweet and rich enough to work as dessert, but I usually serve it alongside pork chops or roast chicken. It won’t win any contests for healthiness or ease of making, but I think it’s worth the effort and calories!